ODU Receives $35m Donation for Art Museum

Old Dominion University just received a donation valued at over $35 million, the largest gift in the university’s history.

It came from Richard and Carolyn Barry, and will be used to build a new art museum intended to serve the school and the greater Hampton Roads community.

According to ODU, the Barrys will bestow their multifaceted art collection to serve as the museum’s initial foundation, and they will also provide operating support through pledged annual gifts and a permanent endowment from their estates.

In a press release, ODU’s president John R. Broderick says, “The Barrys’ gift allows ODU to become one of Hampton Roads’ major cultural destinations. Their collection tells a story about the rise of American glass artists to the forefront of the international scene.  The new museum will frame this story beautifully, while providing a starting point for other stories yet to be told.”

The Barrys’ collection focuses mostly on the Studio Art Glass movement, which encompasses more than 100 sculptural objects by such internationally renowned artists as Dale Chihuly, Lino Tagliapietra, Harvey Littleton, Howard Ben Tré, Dan Dailey, Ginny Ruffner, Michael Glancy, Laura Donefer, Stanislav Libensky and Jaroslava Brychtova.

Their collection also contains works by well-known American modernist painters, including Arthur B. Carles, Marsden Hartley, Milton Avery, George Luks, Preston Dickinson, Morgan Russell, John Marin, Blanche Lazzell, Rockwell Kent, Alfred Mauer and Wolf Kahn.

The museum will be constructed on the east corner of Hampton Boulevard and 43rd Street, adjacent to the Ted Constant Convocation Center and across from the new education building. Groundbreaking for the new building is expected in 2017 and a grand opening is projected for 2018.

Saunders + Crouse Architects conceptualize a 24,000-square-foot, two-story building, with room for expansion.  It’s expected to house permanent collections as well as a changing faculty gallery and traveling exhibitions.